Globes are hanging in green branches. they refract the light, dusted with ice, and I think of mistletoe. I’m walking through Winterlights in the snow.
The timing is complete luck, coming here tonight in one of the season’s first flurries. The path is lightly coated below the candycane glimmer of the stairs. The air is clear, and families around me are laughing, looking upward, stopping to lean against each other.
Fir trees are spangled blue and green. The path curves into the woods for a few steps, and and phosphorescence dances in the pines. The lights seem to reflect off the lighter ground, and flakes sift down.
Every year brings a new transformation here in a concentration of color. This year the path opens at the top of the hill with the round portal into the walled garden. People are tying wishes to bare limbs of young trees, and the paper stirs in the air. 2024 comes in with a backbeat and a disco ball.
And around the lights, I’m walking at night through the living trees in the garden and the poinsettias in the greenhouse. The walk loops down to the foot of the gardens and then up again. Halfway through, an old road runs up the hill toward the greenhouse and the pathway.
And from there you can look up the hill along the whole spread of lights. You look up through the dark strokes of tree branches along the sky and into a rainbow. Below, the fields open across the hillside, and the night feels friendly, winter clear.